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COXES LEDGE – NORTHERN SECTION

A look at some of the fishy structure contained within the northern confines of Coxes Ledge.
By Capt. Steve Tombs
COXES LEDGE – NORTHERN SECTION
Courtesy of Navionics.

Coxes Ledge is one of the premiere locations in southern New England to catch cod. Coxes Ledge is located 20 to 25 miles southeast of Point Judith, RI, and was reportedly once a settlement for Pleistocene-era tribes before sea levels rose and it became an underwater cod mecca. It’s fished by boats from across the region, so expect some company if you’re going to fish it.

There’s a lot of good ground to fish throughout Coxes, and the northern section includes an area that used to be a dumping ground for old boats. This was centered in and around the deep-water finger that runs through a good part of the ledge and hence it contains many wrecks as a result. From what I’ve been able to gather through research, this dumping ground was roughly located within the square area of 41-09-30/71-13-07, 41-11-01/71-06-49, 41-05-45/71-02-60, and 41-03-41/71-09-54.

Because Coxes Ledge is a sizeable fishing area I’ve broken this piece into two parts: the northern section and the southern section. Here are some numbers and tips to get you started in the northern section of Coxes; next month we will tackle spots to the south.

Located roughly at 41-08-00/71-06-10, this area is referred to as “The Mountains” due to it having several high points that resemble underwater mountains. There’s lots of rough bottom here that helps break tidal currents for bottom fish. There are at least two large peaks that are located in the vicinity of 41-08-01.7/71-06-02.2 and 41-07-55.3/71-06-18.5; these are good places to start looking for fish. Don’t be afraid to venture off the peaks as you may just find a pile of fish down the slopes or near the bases, especially when the tide is running hard. You’ll also be likely to find a mess of black sea bass around these peaks during different points in the season. This is a popular spot and is marked on many fishing charts so expect to have some company when fishing here. I would also check around 41-07-55.2/71-06-09.5, 41-07-45.5/71-05-44.9 and 41-07-08.0/71-06-31.6. All of these spots have been productive cod locations for us. Water depths average between 90 and 120 feet in this vicinity.

Further to the east you’ll find a rock pile located around 41-12-21.5/71-08-51.7. This rock pile has given up many cod throughout the years, but today it doesn’t get quite as much attention from fishermen as some of the other spots on the ledge do.

Keep in mind that this area is currently targeted for an influx of offshore wind farms so we’ll see how the fishing holds up and whether or not any access issues arise. Cod can be sensitive to pile driving noises. The second half of this range of hot spots will follow next month and will focus on some key locations on the southern part of the ledge so stay tuned! Together they will give you a good overview of the ledge and provide you with some starting points if you haven’t fished there much.